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  1. Updates on Monday 11 April 2016

Live Reporting

All times stated are UK

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Our live coverage across the day

Rebecca Turner

BBC North East

Updates for the North East have now finished for the day. 

We'll be back with more news, sport, weather and travel from 08:00 tomorrow. We hope you can join us then.

If you'd like to get in touch you can tweet us, email, or contact us through our Facebook page.  

Tonight's weather: Chilly with spells of rain

BBC Weather

Dry initially this evening and feeling chilly in a rather strong northeasterly wind.

Cloud will thicken to give some spells of rain by midnight. Increasing amounts of hill fog with low cloud.  

45 bags of rubbish collected in Washington clean-up

Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue service volunteers have collected up 45 bags of rubbish in a clear-up in Washington.

Volunteers clearing rubbish

Murder trial jury shown CCTV from night of attack

The jury in the trial of seven young defendants accused of murdering a Teesside man has seen CCTV footage of the night he was attacked.

Teesside Crown Court heard Anthony Kirk and Shane Tunney were out together the night they were set upon in Norton in Stockton.   

Cleveland Police

Mr Kirk described how food was thrown at himself and Mr Tunney from the roof of a Tesco store and abuse was shouted at them.   

Mr Tunney was then attacked with a metal pole and later died from his injuries.

The seven deny murder and GBH. The trial continues.

Man attacked for phone and wallet in Gateshead

A man had his phone and cash stolen and was left with facial injuries in an attack in Gateshead early yesterday morning.

The 44-year-old was walking along Askew Road West when he was approached from behind by two men and assaulted.

The first attacker is white, about 5ft 7in and 18 to 20 years old. He was of medium build and was wearing a black cap, navy blue hooded top and black tracksuit bottoms.

The second man is white, about  the same age but slightly taller and skinnier.

Duck shot and killed by BB gun in County Durham

A duck has been shot and killed by a BB gun in County Durham.

The animal was killed in Salters Lane in Shotton Colliery at 20:00 last night.

RSPCA inspector Steph Baines said: "A witness heard what sounded like gunshots then saw a man chase a duck into a garden where he hit the duck over the head a couple of times before walking off laughing.

"The witness went to the duck, which he found collapsed. A ball bearing gun was nearby."

Two women from Ryton on trial for murder of toddler

Two women from Gateshead have gone on trial accused of murdering a two-year-old boy in Fife and blaming the killing on another boy.

Rachel Fee, 31, and her civil partner Nyomi Fee, 28, deny killing their son Liam Fee in a house near Glenrothes in Scotland on 22 March 2014.

Liam Fee
Police Scotland

The women also deny locking another boy in a cage and tying a third to a chair in a room with rats and snakes.

The couple, originally from Ryton, deny committing the offences at the home they shared near Glenrothes between 12 January 2012 and 22 March 2014.

The trial, which is expected to last for between four and six weeks, at the High Court in Livingston continues.

No Metro trains between Benton and North Shields at the weekend

There'll be no trains on the Tyne and Wear Metro between North Shields and Benton this weekend to allow for modernisation work.


Metro says frequent replacement buses will be calling at or close to all stations between Four Lane Ends and North Shields during the work.

It also says Central Station will close each evening at 20:00 from Sunday to Thursday.

Redcar MP welcomes Tata Steel sale announcement

Redcar Labour MP Anna Turley has called the news that Greybull Capital will be buying Tata Steel's Long Products Europe division, which includes steel mills at Lackenby and Skinningrove, "positive" for the steel industry.

She said: "We have a highly skilled and highly motivated workforce whose commitment to their industry is the bedrock of this deal. 

"It is reassuring that Greybull intend to maintain staffing levels with no further job reductions other than those previously announced by Tata. I look forward to the completion of the deal and pay tribute to everyone involved, including Community Union who have worked constructively with Tata and Greybull on behalf of their members to secure a long term future for the business. 

" This is some positive news in what has been a very difficult time for our steel industry. I hope that a future is secured for Tata's remaining UK assets and the thousands of jobs they support but it will take more government action to prevent a repeat of what happened to our blast furnace in Redcar."

Hebburn pedestrian killed in car crash identified

A pedestrian who was killed in a collision in South Tyneside has been identified by police as 56-year-old Gavin Bolam.

Mr Bolam, of Hartleyburn Avenue, Hebburn, died after being hit by a car in Victoria Road West on Saturday.


The driver is thought to have been in a Silver Mercedes C-Class, which had left the Lakeside pub at about 12:08.

A 39-year-old local man arrested on suspicion of causing death by dangerous driving has been released on bail.

Almost £1,000 worth of E-cigarettes stolen from shop

Almost £1,000 worth of E-cigarettes were stolen during a shop burglary in Newcastle over the weekend.

Burglars broke into an empty flat above the BW Superstore in Adelaide Terrace, then broke through the floor of the flat and got into the shop below.

Police say they stole about £1,000 worth of E-cigarettes and accessories from inside the shop.

Murder trial hears of attack with metal pole

Peter Harris

BBC Look North

The best friend of a man allegedly beaten to death by a gang of teenagers has told a court about the attack. 

Teesside Crown Court heard Anthony Kirk was with Shane Tunney (pictured below) the night they were set upon in Norton in Stockton. 

Today Mr Kirk gave evidence against the seven defendants, who are aged between 16 and 18. He described food being thrown at himself and Mr Tunney from the roof of a Tesco store and abuse being shouted. 

Shane Tunney
Cleveland Police

Later he said they were shouted at as they walked away and Mr Kirk was struck on the side of the head with a metal pole. 

He was then kicked and punched on the ground and left feeling dazed. The group ran off after a passing motorist stopped and he said he then found Mr Tunney in the road unconscious. 

The court has heard Shane Tunney later died from his injuries. The seven deny his murder and attempted grievous bodily harm on Mr Kirk.

Man stabbed in Gateshead

A 38-year-old man was stabbed while walking along Derwentwater Road in Gateshead.

Police say the victim was heading towards the Teams Social Club last night when he was approached from behind and assaulted. 

He was taken to hospital for treatment and is in a "stable condition". 

A 48-year-old man has been arrested on suspicion of wounding and is in custody.

Alan Shearer congratulates Danny Willett on Masters win

MP welcomes Tata Steel sale deal

A Labour MP has welcomed the news Tata Steel has sold its Long Products Europe business to investment firm Greybull Capital for a token £1 or €1.

The deal includes the Lackenby and Skinningrove sites on Teesside.

Redcar MP Anna Turley said: "I am pleased a future has been secured for Tata's Long Products Division including the two sites on Teesside and I know it will be a relief to the workforce and their families who will have spent recent weeks and months anxious about their jobs and livelihoods. 

"The agreement with Greybull shows that there is a positive future for UK steel and that it will continue to make a vital contribution to the economy, including in Teesside."

Mum thanks 'fantastic lady' for first aid efforts in Morrisons

A mum whose son fell and "split his head open" in Alnwick Morrisons has thanked the staff member who stepped in to help. 

Aimee Reeves from Alnwick put this post on Facebook saying she "couldn't hold back tears" as she tried to calm her son Logan down, and that a "fantastic lady" calmly reassured her while performing first aid:

Facebook post

Caroline Bissette, the woman who stepped in to help, thanked Aimee for her kind words on BBC Newcastle this morning, saying it was "so nice to hear". Listen to the interview here.

Aimee Reeves with her son Logan and Morrisons worker Caroline Bisette
Aimee Reeves

Middlesbrough boss on narrow win: 'Every point is gold'

Middlesbrough maintained their push for automatic promotion from the Championship with a narrow win against Preston North End at the weekend.

Aitor Karanka

Middlesbrough boss Aitor Karanka says: "It is important to win at this time of the season.

"Now we have our game in hand but we cannot think we have the three points in our pocket already. Every point is gold.

"We don't want to be in the Championship next season. At the beginning of the season. the aim was to get in the play-offs."

Michelle Heaton cheers on former bandmate following win on The Voice

On Saturday, Kevin Simm won The Voice.

He used to be in the band Liberty X, alongside Gateshead-born singer Michelle Heaton.

Michelle Heaton and Kevin Simms
Getty Images

She told BBC Newcastle this morning that it's not fair to say "he's already had his chance" in the industry and that his experience means he "needed to prove himself even more, and work even harder" to get the votes.  

Fears over impact double relegation may have on region

BBC Sport

Here's a small snippet from today's Gossip Column:

Relegation from the Premier League for Newcastle and Sunderland would bring economic gloom to the North East, according to a business leader. (The Sun)

Mum's petition to bring home autistic son from Newcastle reaches 63,000

A mother's campaign to bring home her autistic son who is being treated 300 miles away has grown significantly.

In the last month 63,000 people have signed a petition in support of Adele Hanlon, from Bristol, whose son was diagnosed with ADHD and dyspraxia.

Eddie with card to his mum
Adele Hanlon

Eddie, 16, is being detained in Newcastle under the Mental Health Act as there are no specialist care beds available closer to home.

NHS England has said it cannot comment on individual cases.

Sunderland 'absolutely have to win at any cost' against Norwich

Yann M'Vila has warned Sunderland they have to win their "cup final" at Norwich if they are to stand any chance of avoiding relegation from the Premier League.

The Black Cats head for Carrow Road next Saturday.

Yann M'Vila
Getty Images

M'Vila said: "We have to win against Norwich, there's no question of a draw. We have to take the points and absolutely have to win at any cost."   

Workers must accept pay cut as Tata announces plant deal

Tata Steel has confirmed a deal to sell its Long Products Europe business to UK-based investment firm Greybull Capital.

The move will safeguard more than 4,000 jobs, but workers are being asked to accept a pay cut and less generous pension arrangements.

Tata steelworks
Getty Images

Greybull says it is arranging a £400m investment package as part of the deal.

The business will be rebranded as "British Steel" once the deal is completed in eight weeks, it said.

It will take over eight facilities, including two in Teesside - the Teesside Beam Mill in Lackenby and Special Profiles in Skinningrove, which employ 775 people combined.

BreakingTata steel: Long Products Europe business sold to Greybull Capital

Tata Steel has announced it will sell its Long Products Europe business to the investment firm Greybull Capital.

Greybull Capital will take on the whole of the business, including assets and relevant liabilities.

It will take over eight facilities, including two in Teesside - the Teesside Beam Mill in Lackenby and Special Profiles in Skinningrove.

Two men arrested over graffiti in Heaton and Jesmond

Two men have been arrested in connection with graffiti sprayed on cars, gates and houses in Heaton and Jesmond in Newcastle.

The men, aged 20 and 21, were arrested this morning and are currently in police custody.

Durham 'hollowed-out' by rise in university students

Durham City is being 'ruined' and 'hollowed-out' by a rise in student numbers and new accommodation, a conservation society has said.

Roger Cornwell, chairman of The City of Durham Trust

The City of Durham Trust said both had increased "quite substantially" in recent years.

Accommodation blocks for about 4,000 students have been built since 2012, it added.

Durham County Council says it is "balancing the needs of a world-class university with those of residents".

Police and Crime Commissioner elections 2016: Who's standing?

Here's who'll be standing in the elections for police and crime commissioners, which will be held in the 41 police force areas of England and Wales on 5 May.


  • Vera Baird - Labour
  • Stewart Thomas Hay - Conservative
  • Melanie Hurst - UKIP
  • Jonathan Charles Wallace - Liberal Democrat


  • Sultan Alam - Independent
  • Barry John Coppinger - Labour
  • Steve Matthews - UKIP
  • Matthew Alexander Vickers - Conservative


  • Peter Cuthbertson - Conservative
  • Ron Hogg - Labour
  • Craig Martin - Liberal Democrat

Tata Steel: More than 1,270 workers at risk of losing jobs in North East

Tata Steel is beginning the formal process of selling its loss-making UK plants, inviting interested bidders to submit their offers.

So far, the only company to have publicly expressed an interest is Liberty Steel, owned by Sanjeev Gupta.

Thousands of workers in England and Wales risk losing their jobs if a deal cannot be struck.

This includes 1,276 employees from Redcar, Hartlepool and Skinningrove:

Tata Steel jobs map

Elderly woman shot by air weapon in South Shields

An elderly woman was shot by an air weapon yesterday morning.

It happened in Erskine Road in South Shields.

The woman suffered a head injury and was taken to hospital.

It's not known where the weapon was fired from.

Weather: Cloudy start, getting drier and brighter

After a cloudy start with patchy rain or drizzle, it will become drier and brighter from the south during the morning, with some sunny spells developing in the afternoon.

Breezy, especially near the coast.  

Check the weather where you are.

Naval reserves celebrate £3m training centre revamp

A Royal Navy training centre on the banks of the River Tyne has reopened after a £3m revamp.

The rededication ceremony
Naval Reserve

The Tyne division of the Naval Reserve has been in existence since 1905, with more than 10,000 reservists passing through its doors.

A rededication parade marked the reopening, with reservists from the centre's training vessel HMS Calliope taking part.

Hartlepool foster mother Norma Bell death: Murder accused in court

A man has appeared in court charged with the murder of a foster mother, whose body was found in the burnt remains of her home in Hartlepool.

Norma Bell
Cleveland Police

Norma Bell, who cared for more than 50 children, died prior to a blaze at her home on Westbourne Road on 2 April.

She had lived at the house for 27 years and was due to celebrate her 80th birthday next month.

Gareth Dack, 32, made a brief appearance at Teesside Magistrates' Court and was remanded in custody.

Newcastle United's loss to Southampton 'woeful'

Saj Chowdhury

BBC Sport

Some football news from the weekend: Southampton eased to a comfortable win over desperate Newcastle, who edge closer to Premier League relegation.

Graziano Pelle scoring a second goal

The Magpies were woeful and conceded in the fourth minute when Shane Long ran past a hapless defence and slotted in.

Graziano Pelle swept home the second just before the break and Victor Wanyama drilled in to make it 3-0 after Pelle's shot was blocked.

Newcastle barely threatened but earned a consolation through Andros Townsend's stunning strike.  

Police use Taser on motorist trying to drive off with officer clinging to 4x4

The Northern Echo


Couple rescued from Holy Island causeway

Two people had to be rescued after their car became stranded by the sea in Northumberland.

The rescue mission took place on the road that leads to Holy Island yesterday afternoon.

The couple were eventually saved by the coastguard and taken back to dry land.

North News photographer Raoul Dixon took this picture:

View more on twitter

Teesside drug use 'higher than Europe', tests reveal

Research suggests cocaine use in parts of Teesside is higher than in major European cities such as Paris, Berlin and Barcelona.

Dr Gillian Taylor

Academics at Teesside University said tests on domestic wastewater showed sustained use of the class A drug in Middlesbrough and Stockton.

Experts said there was no risk to the public from the amounts discovered, but rather indicated a pattern of use.

Woman raped by bogus taxi driver in Sunderland

A woman was raped after getting into a car she thought was a taxi, police have said.

Mowbray Road

The woman, in her 20s, got into the silver/grey hatchback in Derwent Road in Sunderland early yesterday morning.

She was then driven to an area near the junction of Hendon Valley Road and Mowbray Road, where she was raped inside the vehicle, police said.

Police  have spoken to two 18-year-old men in connection with the incident.

Wild lynx plan 'threatens sheep farmers'

Plans to reintroduce wild lynx to parts of Northumberland and Cumbria would mean 'completely unjustifiable' losses for sheep farmers, a report claims.


The Lynx UK Trust wants to place up to six lynx per site as part of efforts to repopulate the species, which has been extinct in Britain for 1,300 years.

But the National Sheep Association fears the move could damage the livelihoods of sheep farmers.

The trust says that if successful the trial will boost regional economies.